Skip to main content
recession proof business

Recession Proof: Business Cleaning Services

We all remember the last recession. It wasn’t a pretty time. Plenty of businesses went belly up. Nobody seemed to have any money. Layoffs were abundant. In January of 2009 alone, there were 818,000 layoffs. It’s chilling to think about.

So why are we thinking about it? Because whenever anybody talks to us about owning a Stratus Building Solutions franchise, at some point, somebody invariably says something like, “But what if the economy doesn’t continue on a hot streak? What if we have another recession? What happens to my business then?”

That’s when we invariably talk about how business cleaning services are recession-proof, and how if the economy did go downhill in the future, how you would likely emerge from the ashes stronger than ever.

It’s true. We’ll explain why.

This is a commercial cleaning business model, not a residential one. There is a difference. A business that specializes in cleaning residential homes may be a fine business, great branding and have a solid business model – but it’s hardly recession-proof.

Some residential cleaning business proponents will argue that in a recession, the wealthy aren’t negatively affected, and so they won’t cut back on cleaning. There’s some truth to that, but plenty of busy middle-class families and single parents have cleaning services dropping by, if not every week, perhaps once a month, and if a resident is worried about a layoff, or they simply run into financial trouble, do you think they’re going to keep their cleaning service? After all, if you don’t have a job, or you’re worried about your finances, a cleaning service for your home is a luxury.

But most businesses will not eliminate their cleaning service. They can’t.

Cleaning is good for business. Why won’t a business stop cleaning? Because it would be terrible for a company. Would you want to be a regular client or loyal customer working with a business that has dust and dirt everywhere and isn’t cleaning its toilets? Uh, no. If a business owner stops cleaning its stores or offices, it's generally the beginning of the end for that company.

That isn’t to say you’re living in Funsville when you own a commercial cleaning franchise in a recession. Clients may cut back on their cleaning – for instance, asking you to come in twice a week instead of three or four times a week. They may do fewer deep cleans. Fewer businesses opening might mean it’s harder to find new clients. It’s harder to raise prices in a recession.

But if you own a cleaning franchise such as Stratus Building Solutions, you are very unlikely to have a client tell you, “Hey, you know, the recession is really hitting us. We have fewer members at our gym now, and we think it’s going to be really helpful for sales if we stop cleaning our bathrooms, floors and equipment and show our prospective and remaining members that we’ve stopped caring.”

That just doesn’t happen.

And many businesses can’t stop cleaning. Can you imagine a doctor’s or dentist’s practice deciding to cut back on its cleaning? That would practically be malpractice.

Commercial cleaning companies can be negatively affected by a recession, as noted, but recessions aren’t toxic either. A commercial cleaning company is about as recession proofed as it gets.

You may even bring in more business. Sometimes, when times are bad, a business that has a custodial staff will lay them off – and then outsource the cleaning to a commercial cleaning company. We don’t like seeing anybody lose their job during a recession, or in good times, but it does sometimes work out that way.

Seriously, you may find that you start hiring additional workers in a recession.

If you do a good job, too, once the economy is roaring again, odds are the company you’re now cleaning isn’t going to then drop you and hire a new custodial staff and pay for benefits. If anything, they’ll keep you – and if they feel they need more cleaning, they’ll ask you over on-site even more.

And, of course, in economic good times and bad, there’s always the threat of a new virus or the flu. Businesses know its good business for their clients and customers to not fear that they’re going to visit and get sick.

So, while the last thing anybody wants is another recession, we’d argue that buying a Stratus Building Solutions franchise is always a financially savvy move. Trust us, whether the economy is alive and well or barely breathing, you’ll clean up.